Tips For Building A House On A Low Budget

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Building a house

Low budget house construction is what we all aim for when building our beautiful house. This is why you need to ensure you are well prepared before you get started. Make sure you ask the right questions before you start building.

The most important question is “Can I afford it? How much does it cost to build a house?”. Start by calculating the fixed construction costs of the building, the fence or wall surrounding the property, connecting water and electricity, building permits and make sure to include some extra money (about 10%) for unforeseen costs.  You can learn how to calculate your construction costs and how to save money during construction online. If you are working with a lean budget, ensure that you have your current living conditions covered as you finish your building project to avoid crises.

1. Can I Afford It?

Building a house

 

The most important question is “Can I afford it? How much does it cost to build a house?”. Start by calculating the fixed construction costs of the building, the fence or wall surrounding the property, connecting water and electricity, building permits and make sure to include some extra money (about 10%) for unforeseen costs.  You can learn how to calculate your construction costs and how to save money during construction online. If you are working with a lean budget, ensure that you have your current living conditions covered as you finish your building project to avoid crises.

2. Do I Have The Right House Plans?

Building a house

 

 

Make sure you have the right house plans by talking to a professional. The plan should work with your plot and the surroundings, the local building codes, your taste and requirements and your budget. With numerous online portals from which you can select and purchase your desired house plans with complete drawing sets from which you can immediately begin construction. Make sure to look around and get as much information about the plans and match those to your requirements to ensure a perfect fit.

3. Do I Have The Time?

Building a house

Construction requires a lot of your time. You must select a plan, select materials,decide on colours, doors, sinks, tiles, fixtures etc. You must oversee payments to the contractors or labourers, get building permits, deal with your water department and electric company for them to make connections – and so much more. It might sound very overwhelming, but this is something that you will get used to as long as you are involved in the process. Just make sure you have the time to deal with it all. Expect a realistic timeline of 8 months to 2 years of construction. This process can take up more time if you are on a small budget or building using your monthly income.

4. Is The Location The Right One?

Building A House

 

 

So, you have bought a plot and now you are ready to start building. But is the plot in the right place? Once you get started with construction there is usually no stopping and you can no longer change your mind on the location. Ask yourself the following: Do I like the neighbours? Is it a noisy location? Is there access to water and power? Are the roads passable during the rainy season?

5. Who Will Supply The Building Materials?

Building A House

 

In most cases, it is worth employing a contractor to undertake all work. The contractor who then ensures all materials are purchased as per drawings and agreements. The contractor will also ensure safety of construction materials on site. It is cheaper to purchase materials yourself but if you do not have very good security you will find materials disappearing from the building site without your knowledge which ends up costing much more in the end. Unless you are experienced or have done enough research, it is better to have a number of contractors make bids on the project and you can select the most realistic option.

6. How Many Bricks Do I Need?

Building a house

 

This is a very common but not very relevant question. You can find a cost estimate calculator for each house plan from Maramani which will give you a good indication of the total costs involved in each plan. Alternatively, you can get Bills of Quantities (a detailed list of all materials and labour) prepared for your project which will give you an even more accurate cost estimate including a detailed list of all materials required.

7. How Do I Select A Home Builder/ Contractor?

Building A House

 

The first thing the contractor must have is the experience. The more experience the better and faster he’ll be. The contractor will also know how to minimise costs and therefore will give you value for you money. Secondly, ask the contractor to show you work that he has undertaken previously. Talk to people the contractor has worked with and get feedback. This is your biggest investment so make sure you have the right person for it. Don’t select a contractor on face value but rather conduct thorough research and base your selection on facts, references and positive feedback. A contractor should also know your local building regulations so you don’t get in trouble with the local government. Prepare a list of questions and meet with several contractors before making your final decision.

8.Will My House Be Properly Secured?

Building A House

 

While you are still making a decision on what your new home will look like it is important to know that you will be able to live securely in it. If the neighbourhood is not safe make sure you have burglar bars and a secure perimeter wall or fence. Fewer doors and windows give you more security so select a plan which reflects this if you are concerned about your safety. Ask yourself whether you can add steel grills to the doors in your selected plan if they will be needed.

9.What Design Style Should I Go With?

Building A House

 

This question is closely related to the issue of costs and security. The more “fancy” a design is, the more it will cost. Let’s say you want a design with large windows the price will be higher than installing small windows. Likewise, large windows are less secure. Keep in mind that all additional elements or decorations translate to additional costs. With most designs, it is possible however to add accessorising fixtures at a later stage once your budget allows.

Ready For Your New Home?

Deciding to build a home means essentially devoting your life, time and patience toward the project for many months. Take your time and check out your options on the most popular 3 bedroom house plans on the web before breaking ground on your own home.

 

Neema Ngelime
A Content Creator who paints with light.